As Way Opens

My heart mourns today knowing that Ann Kendall, our dear and weighty friend passed away on Sunday. But that hole in my heart for her has been there for some time as her health declined and she moved to Anderson.  I have been reflecting on some of the women that have been a part of our Meeting and had such an influence on me in my 25 years of attending First Friends. These women like Ann, Betsy Lawson, Hilda Renshaw, Georganna Tinsley,  and others who are no longer physically present with us, yet they live on in our memories and the wisdom and grace they passed on to all of us.  These women  showed us how to live in the Spirit even during the storms of life and stay grounded and faithful.  They made themselves vulnerable to us and we could see their authentic self.  They never seemed fearful (although I am sure they experienced fear) and they showed us how to accept the aging process (which many in my generation are fearful of) gracefully and faithfully. When these women would speak out of the silence during unprogrammed worship, we listened closely as they were full of the Inner Light and their openness to God’s voice was deep.  These women were not just about words but they also lived out their faith in their everyday lives.

I was talking with a friend this week about what is most important to them about First Friends.  They said the people and the relationships.  I know this first hand as this Meeting has sustained me in the last seven years of my life in significant ways.  I have experienced the care, the love, the wisdom, the listening, the fellowship and the times when I needed fun in my life.  I am so thankful for this group of Quakers where I have felt a sense of family and being at home.  I am thankful for these dear women and so many others that have brought the gospel to life and have connected us in a web of Spirit and humanity.

Joys & Concerns

Barbara F's memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 23. Calling will be from 10am-12pm in the Parlor, and the service will begin in the meetingroom at noon. A luncheon will be served in Fellowship Hall afterward. You can read Barbara’s obituary from the Indianapolis Star here:

Please pray for Houston, Florida, the Northwest, and others being affected by natural disasters. There are currently so many people suffering from storms, fires, and hurricanes - please hold in the light all those trying to come back or preparing for what is coming.


Last week our food pantry volunteers were: Christie M, Ray G, Beth S, Kathy and Bill F, Rik and Linda L, Carol and Jim D.  All were needed as 137 families were served.  This was the largest number we have served in the 10+ years that we have worked at the pantry. Many thanks to all!


Thank you, Lucy! Many thanks to Lucy K, who raised $376 for the Thornburgs with her bake sale last Sunday! It was Lucy’s idea to help the family and their trip to Belize, and she baked all the goodies! Great job, Lucy, and thank you!


Congratulations to Eric B, who has been chosen as our interim music director! He will begin this Sunday, September 17. Come hear him perform!

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Reunite with Ruthie!  Ruthie T will be in town for several days September 13th - 15th. Beth H will host an open house for her so you can have a chance to catch up with her today, Wednesday September 13th from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.  This gathering will be at Beth’s house (1123 Ivy Lane, Indianapolis 46220).

The Henry’s are moving! Bob Henry and his family will soon be moving into their new permanent home the weekend of September 22nd. During this time of transition, we are asking for any possible help! They will need assistance moving into their home, as well as meals during this busy time when they won’t be able to cook. If you are able to help with moving or would like to help provide a meal, please contact the office at Your help is appreciated!


Sing Along With Jim K!
When? 7:00-8:30 Friday September 22
Where? Parlor at First Friends
Who? People who like to sing
What? Songs chosen mostly from Rise Up Singing and Rise Again, both songbooks compiled and edited by Annie Patterson and Peter Blood with early assistance by Pete Seeger.
Why? For our pleasure, delight, fun, relaxation and community building.
Future dates: October 13, December 1.
If you have either songbook, please bring it (or them). Jim will have a song list planned. If you have requests, we will have a list for the next time we get together. If you let the office know you are coming then we can be sure to have photocopies of the words for you.


Woods Work Day ~ Please join us for the Woods' Work Day this Saturday, September 16!  We will work from 9-11:30 AM.  Jobs will include cleaning up some flower beds, gathering up branches that either need to be chipped or taken to the dump and as always, trying to get out some of the invasive plants. Bring your work gloves and your favorite tools and we'll have a good time together.  Contact Mindy S or Mary B for questions.


Mid North Food Pantry Drive ~ First Friends is doing its annual fundraising for the Mid North Food Pantry in September, rather than November, this year.  The pantry is in need of funds due to heavy demand during a very busy summer.  We are, once again, requesting cash donations rather than food items as the pantry can purchase a much greater quantity of food with donated dollars than we can at grocery stores.  Children who attend Sunday School can continue to bring in food items.  Food insecurity is as great as ever in Indianapolis.  Please donate as you are led.  Checks can be made to First Friends with a notation of “Mid North” or “Food Pantry”.  Thank you.


SAVE THE DATE! We need your blood on Sunday, November 5th. We are having a blood drive from 9:00-noon in Fellowship Hall. Keep an eye out for more details in coming months!


Participate in our "Sponsor a College Student" project! Just select a college student off the board set up in Fellowship Hall and send them notes, cards, treats, etc throughout the school year so they hear from someone at the Meeting and feel connected. We still have 5 students that need sponsored! Please make sure they’re not left out!


Spiritual Growth Small Groups ~ We are excited to offer spiritual growth small groups this fall starting Oct 2nd and continuing for a 6-week period.  We will be studying the book by Joyce Rupp called The Cup of Our Life that examines the rich symbol of a cup in all its many forms to our everyday life. The groups will meet on different days of the week and will last 90 minutes each time. The groups will meet each week for 6 weeks. See the table below for details and to sign up, please visit You can also sign up by using the sign-up sheet that will be in the hallway this Sunday, or contact the office. 


BeFriending Creation: Bi-Monthly Newsletter of Quaker Earthcare Witness ~ All are invited to read the newest issue of Quaker Earthcare Witness’ newsletter. This issue of shares the stories of Friends in faithful action as they question the injustice of the status-quo and listen to the Spirit to determine how to live their values. Pamela Haines asks hard-hitting questions about Friends' relationship with money and finance. Jaime DeMarco shares how he moved from individual to collective action around climate change and Honor Woodrow describes her powerful experience on July's Climate Pilgrimage in New Hampshire. Mary Jo Klingel reminds us of the importance of connecting with the quiet and taking small steps that lead to connection and inspiration. Beverly Ward and Pamela Boyce Simms report back on their groundbreaking organizing around food sovereignty in the African Diaspora at the United Nations. To view the newsletter, visit For more information, feel free to visit their website at


Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading:   My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor book discussion will be held Tuesday, September 26th at 7 pm in the Parlor. All are welcome! Nancy Scott will be leading the group.  If you're interested in reading ahead for next month, the October 24th title will be: The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro

Can you find the peace rocks in our Meditational Woods? During the last babysitting co-op, our kids painted peace rocks and hid them in the Meditational Woods. Feel free to come visit, and see if you can find them!


SAWS Ramp Build ~ Those who are interested in helping with a SAWS ramp build on the morning of either October 14 or October 21 should notify Jim Donahue as soon as possible.  The Shalom Zone is trying to determine which date folks would be available to build a ramp.  The date that most folks can attend will be chosen.  If you can make one of the dates, notify the office ASAP which date works best for you.  We will notify you which date is selected.  Thank you!


Buddy Bags are here again this year! We are collecting food for the kids at Allisonville Elementary School Fall Break. We are going to have 25 bags this year and they will be delivered on October 4th. What we need from you are the following donations: Microwaveable Entrees, Chicken Salad with Crackers, small jars of peanut butter, 4/packs of fruit cups, vegetables cups, pudding cups, and applesauce: small boxes of raisins, packets of oatmeal, boxes of Pop-Tarts, protein or granola bars, packages of peanut butter or cheese crackers, fruit roll ups and bags of goldfish. Cash or check donations will also be accepted. We all pulled together last year to make this work so I know we can do it again this year! Please contact the office with any questions.